Another week another snow storm

by Nick on January 7, 2011

Happy Friday everyone!  In case you’re wondering I’m posting today’s post a little late because I’m hoping everyone came and saw the LoveDrop post one extra time.  It’s a really cool cause and can do a lot of good.  So if you’re not maxed out with your giving, consider LoveDrop.  Here are some more FAQs about it.

So as I sit here surrounded by snow again I’m psyched to announce that I’m already done with one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  Because we budget carefully, in writing, every month, we were able to take a windfall and apply it to knock out all of our retirement savings for 2011 already!  Score!  I know, I know, you always hear that steady investing throughout the year is the way to go.  But for me it’s more about getting the money into retirement and less about timing the market.  I hate trying to time the market.  I’ve done it.  It’s worked sometimes.  It didn’t need the bonus money to survive.  It was just part of the plan to kick a$$ with money.

Here are the details!

Today, last year’s bonus was paid.  In case you missed it sprinkled into some other posts, my company is a little odd.  I’ve been here going on seven years now, so I guess I’m a little odd too because I don’t mind the quirks because if I minded them I wouldn’t be here…  Anyhow, I digress….

OK – for real – here are the details:

We can work overtime and get paid for it, but it all gets paid in a year-end – or, in this case, “next-year-begin” – is that a word? – lump sum.  So it’s sort of like a bonus I guess.  This year I worked so much that I got the max bonus possible (it’s capped) - enough to max out the 401(k) and two IRAs.  Boy does it feel good.  To be clear, I had to work the equivalent of an extra 200 hours to score it – an extra ten weeks of work!  Crazy, right?

I know – really odd how the payout/overtime thing works here, right?  But that’s how it works.  They keep track of how many hours we work each day, month and year.  We’re on salary.  And they want us to work 40 hours per week.  If we work 80 hours one week and 0 hours the next, we get no overtime.  So they look at it on an annual basis.  Basically we can work 40 hours per week and get about three weeks of vacation.  If we don’t take the vacation and work or if we take the vacations but are slammed when we’re here, we can earn more money.  But only after they get their 40 hours times 49 weeks (I’m rounding a little).

I worked my a$$ off last year.  I technically didn’t work my “a$$ off” because I sit all day - my bum is probably slightly bigger than at the beginning of last year because of how much I worked…..  Anyhow, I scored a pretty HUGE bonus by my standards.  And, because I enjoy my work, I didn’t mind as much as if it were just a J-O-B.

Which brings me to my point – This post is not to gloat or brag about money.  I’m blessed to have this opportunity and I appreciate it.  But it’s about resolutions. 

If you resolve to do something by the end of the year and can kill it in a week, go for it!  On Monday I wanted to max out my retirement by the end of the year.  Then I thought “Hey Nick, you budget, why not ask the CFO if she could take the entire 401(k) contribution right out of the bonus this Friday?  Then when the rest of it hits your account transfer it into the IRAs.  You won’t miss it.  You’ll have higher cash flow each paycheck.  And you’ll have less to do on your resolutions – and more time to become handy :)”

So I did.  I e-mailed her and politely asked if she could arrange for it to happen.  She is totally cool by the way (having nothing to do with agreeing to my request).  And she agreed.  Score.

How are you doing on your resolutions?  Anyone resolve to get in shape?  I just stumbled upon these four web sites that look cool and started this one Wednesday.  I don’t know anything about the sites or the people who run it, but know a little bit about my body and exercise.  These things are quirky but may work for me.  I’m also starting Pilates this Sunday… kinda scared.

Anyhow – get your booty in gear for a happy, healthy and wealthy new year!

And, of course, until next time put your credit card down and slowly step away from the mall!

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